The Right To Be Here

When Sister Nida was home on vacation earlier this year, Mitzi Ramos interviewed her. Here she shares about her love for the young people of Tanzania.

‘Rais wa Tanzania ni nani?’ (‘Who is the current President of Tanzania?’) bluntly asked one student at Mslowa St Gaspar Bertoni Secondary School of his high school religion teacher who had just recently arrived and found herself in what was for her a completely new context. Drawing a blank, the student continued, ‘Kama hujui, wewe hufai kukaa hapa’ (‘If you don’t know, you don’t deserve to be here’.)

Letter From Tanzania

Sr Rosalie with Sisters at Mtwara Secondary School for Sisters

Dear Father Seán,

Warmest greetings from Africa!

I’m trying to work double time making everything in order here and there for a smooth turnover to whoever will be taking over my work here as I go back to the Philippines for good. My role is really to stabilize the running of the Secondary School for Sisters, Mtwara, in southern Tanzania, and to train local people as much as possible who will continue running it. I can observe that they are gifted but need somebody to help them discover and develop their talents according to the task that will be delegated to them. They feel happy and very honored when entrusted with certain responsibilities, even without additional remuneration, which makes me feel so proud of them.

Night Of Terror

By Sr. Rosalinda Gonzales, mmm

Sr. Rosalinda is a missionary doctor who has been working in Tanzania for many years now. Together with her fellow Sister nurses and doctors, they run the Kabanga Hospital mostly overflowing with refugees – one of the perennial concerns of Africa. Here she tells us of a night of terror when armed robbers broke in into their convent.

He Waits In Silence

By Sr. Rosalinda Gonzales mmm

I saw him
Lying in his bed in the Lower Block at Kabanga Hospital...

He is 24 years old
No family...
All were killed during the atrocities in Burundi.

He managed to escape
to freedom...
to Tanzania.

Oasis In The Desert

By Sr. Mary Ignatius Aquino osb

Sister Mary Ignatius Aquino was appointed to the difficult task of Novice Directress in Ndanda Priory, Tanzania. Here she shares her reflection.

Tanzania is a poor country on the west coast of Africa but it is rich in faith. So what better place for the ancient order of St. Benedict to come and set up monasteries as havens of prayer, peace and love. Sr. Mary Ignatius Aquino, a Filipino Benedictine, has been appointed to the Ndanda priority in Tanzania as Novice Mistress. Her job is to introduce young Nigerian women to the spiritual life and equip them with the convictions that will help them to persevere in their journey to holiness.

Any Filipino Doctors Listening?

By Sr. Rosalinda Gonzales, mmm

Sr. Rosalinda recalls her trip back to Africa where she is the only Filipino in an Irish Congregation of Sister Doctors.

My last holiday home to the Philippines was a great relief and a great rest but then the hour came to return to Africa. To be honest, I literally dragged myself to pack up my bags to travel back to Africa. I didn’t realize until then that I was spent and tired. It was difficult leaving home again now that I have only my remaining sisters Eulenia and Angeline. Papa was called to his ‘final home’ since my last home leave. Long before that was Mama, followed later by my brother Ruben. As Eulenia said, we will be three years older on our next reunion.

With the new set-up at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), my sisters had to leave shortly after seeing me off at the departure gate.

I boarded the British Airways (BA) flight to London Heathrow Airport and even before reaching Hongkong, the first stop-over, I was already feeling homesick. I prayed the Rosary and feel asleep most of the time during the journey to London.

Return from Makaungu

By: Sr. Rosalinda Gonzales, MMM

Sr. Rosalinda Gonzales, a Medical doctor and the only Filipina member of the Medical Missionaries of Mary tells us of her journey back to Tanzania, Africa after a very special visit at home.

Saying Goodbye
Returning to the mission after my recent holiday in the Philippines was like leaving one home for another. The loneliness of separation from my family and friends was replaced with the joy of reunion with my Religious Community. It is God’s grace I must say.